February 11, 2017

We're adopting a Puppy ~ No, I Don't Have a Degree in Animal Science!

We lost one of our dogs, Mutiny, back in October.  She was 13 years old and passed away in our arms.  We've decided it's time to welcome another 4 legged member into our family. Things have changed since we rescued Mutiny, it seems you need a BS in animal science to rescue a puppy today ~ seriously!!

We have never bought a dog.  Our first dog, Hobbes was free to a good home,  Pirate was a gift from a friend, Mutiny we rescued from the pound and Treasure, like Hobbes, we found on a "free puppy" advertisement.  I support our local animal shelter, through can food donations and fund-raising events. I have friends who are foster parents.  We all know there are plenty of dogs that need a new home; that in fact many shelters are having to turn dogs away.

So can you tell me why I'm spending over an hour filling out an application to be considered for adopting a puppy when I haven't even picked one out yet! At two different shelters (not my local one) you have to start the process at least 48 hours in advance before they'll allow you to visit their guests.  I completely understand wanting to run criminal background checks on potential owners, we don't want animals going to the wrong person.  But you want me to pay for you to run a credit check? I'm not buying a dog at the mall I'm rescuing one from you!!
If that wasn't enough the application is longer than some college applications. Here's a few of the questions that require an essay answer:

  • What are your thoughts on obedience training?
  • Please describe how you plan to introduce your new dog to other pets in the household.
  • Are you familiar with crate training?
  • What are your feelings about crate training? (These were 2 separate questions)
  • How do you plan to house-train your new puppy/dog?
  • What would you do if your new dog chews on furniture or shows destructive behavior?
  • Please describe your knowledge of heartworm disease and prevention, including how OFTEN and how LONG your pet must be on prevention. 

I understand that we want to make sure these animals go to a good home.  But I'm going to be a bit snarky and suggest that just maybe your insane vetting process is the reason many of the dogs you're sheltering have been with you for over a year, and you received them as puppies!!
 I think my "Are You Kidding Me" response to their questionnaire makes it quite clear that I'm not the family they're looking for.  I haven't read the latest puppy parenting books.  I've only had dogs most of my life.  I can only offer a new puppy what we've given every other dog: A Safe and Warm Loving Home. I think my: these are loving members of our family but they are not my children mentality, isn't enough anymore. And that's sad.  There's puppies that will spend way too much in these shelters because like me the average adopter l isn't up on current animal psychology.

And just in case you were curious, these are the answers I'd like to submit my application with:
  • Obedience Training:  Ask my kids ~ they survived
  • Introduce new pet:  Treasure meet puppy, now play nice
  • Crate Training:  Heard of it, not happening
  • House-training: Yell: Not there! As I run the puppy outside
  • Chews on Furniture:  No! Bad puppy chew on this toy
  • Heartworm:  Whatever my Vet says to do
Sadly I'm confident my answers (No I didn't use the ones above) probably won't pass the grade on the puppies we found online currently at two shelters.  We will continue to search for the right puppy. And when we find her you'll be the first (after a dozen or so others) to know.  

I would like your help! Send me your name ideas. No actual names like Ruby or Pearl please.  It would need to flow with the theme we've used:

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